“Out of bad comes good,” says Adriane Strampp. In 2011 the Melbourne-based artist got pneumonia and pleurisy, which meant that she wasn’t able to paint. Instead she turned to drawing and her first work won the Kedumba Award, followed by a residency at Taronga Zoo, and the drawings from that were shortlisted for several drawing prizes including the Paul Guest at Bendigo Art Gallery. The previous year she completed her Master of Fine Arts at Monash University and while she’s considering more further study, Adriane is also teaching - both sessional lecturing and running private art classes in her Fitzroy studio. In September she will exhibit at the Jan Manton gallery in Brisbane.
While Adriane Strampp was born in the US and educated in the UK, she has called Australia home for most of her adult life. Here, she has not only continued with further education - a BA in Painting at the Victoria College - but she has also exhibited extensively. Most recently at the Eva Breuer Art Dealer gallery in Woollahra. Life in other countries continues to inform her work though, including a four-month residency in Umbria, Italy. Adriane has been an art prize finalist on numerous occasions, including for the Sulman Prize.
Which five words best describe you? Optimistic, creative, clumsy, stubborn, compassionate.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job, age six, was selling boxes of Chiclets chewing gum in Mexico. I think I sold one box - to my dad - and ate the rest. I dabbled with cooking, and textile designs, but after art school I was picked up by a Sydney gallery and never looked back. I am lucky enough to be represented by several galleries.
What’s your proudest achievement? My house, I designed the renovations - it was an empty factory space when I bought it, and was very "hands-on" during the building process. I learnt a lot about building, and want to do it again!
What’s been your best decision? To trust my instincts, things usually go wrong when I haven’t.
Who inspires you? My friends and family, and my university supervisor Nick, who is a beautiful artist and mentor.
What are you passionate about? Food! I love cooking, and am passionate about keeping it fresh, simple and seasonal. On the weekends I shop at the market and enjoy cooking for friends.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? There are very few decisions in life that are fatal.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I’m female, I’m single – that would have to be George Clooney!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Lots! I’d like to spend a year in New York, a year in Italy, and a year in Paris. I’d also like to have a show in Berlin, Rome, and London.
What are you reading? A lot – on everything from aesthetics and philosophy, to cooking. I love the Movida cookbook.
images courtesy of adriane strampp; portrait greg wayn